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Christian hypocrisy…no surprise at all

Here’s a sign of women’s progress: you can’t get fired by a Christian school for getting pregnant anymore. That’s against the law. Unfortunately, you can still be fired for fornicating, along with a few other things.

The way that Christian organizations try to get around the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which bars firing women for pregnancy, is to claim they’re not firing them for the pregnancy, but for the fornicating. San Diego Christian College went another step by making employees sign a pledge requiring employees to abstain from "abusive anger, malice, jealousy, lust, sexually immoral behavior including premarital sex, adultery, pornography and homosexuality, evil desires and prejudice based on race, sex or socioeconomic status." Also, drinking, which means that Jesus would not be able to teach at this college established in his name.

Which does make me wonder how the school would respond if some woman got pregnant via artificial insemination or worse, in vitro fertilization. Test case, anyone?

That doesn’t help Teri James, though. She got fired from SDCC for getting pregnant the old-fashioned way, via <gasp> fornicating with a man. Escape clause met! College has an out and can get rid of the wicked woman!

Except…in a fit of the stupids to which adherents of ridiculous religions are prone, the college turned around and offered the job to a man. The man who fathered Teri James child. Who is, presumably by the symmetry of the act, a fornicator himself.

Unless this is one of those things where it’s IOKIYAM — it’s OK if you are male.

Comments

  1. mythbri says

    Do the married employees of this “college” have to keep meticulous records of the kind of sex they have with their spouses? Or would such material be considered to be “pornography”?

    But if they don’t keep records of the kind of sex their employees have with their spouses, then how do they know those employees aren’t engaging in “lust” or “sexually immoral behavior” or “evil desires”? You can’t tell me they object to non-marital sex but are just fine with anal and oral sex, or sex that is in any way more fun than procreative.

    You have to police employee sex, but that could be considered “pornography”.

    What a Catch-22.

  2. Reginald Selkirk says

    Which does make me wonder how the school would respond if some woman got pregnant via artificial insemination or worse, in vitro fertilization. Test case, anyone?

    Part of their religious dogma is a claim that a woman got pregnant, but was still a virgin.

  3. says

    Dood fornicators are generally exempted. Remember the 9 year old pregnant with twins who had a therapeutic abortion to save her life? Her mother and her doctors were all excommunicated, while her child-rapist stepfather who impregnated her was not.

    I am going to constructively work out my anger at this inanity by fornicating. I mean, more than I normally would.

  4. raven says

    Christian hypocrisy…no surprise at all

    It’s one of their three main sacraments, along with hate and lies.

  5. Moggie says

    If they were just banning fornication on the premises… yeah, I could see that.

    Is that pledge even legal? Making employees promise to “abstain from” homosexuality? As for the rest of the list… lust? Jealousy? By making their employees sign that pledge, they’re guaranteeing that just about all their employees are liars. Good job!

  6. otranreg says

    requiring employees to abstain from […] prejudice based on race, sex or socioeconomic status

    Oh, the irony.

  7. Ichthyic says

    I am going to constructively work out my anger at this inanity by fornicating. I mean, more than I normally would.

    SLUT!

    ;P

  8. Kengi says

    I still don’t understand why she admitted to having sex. She should have just denied the accusation and made everyone happy.

    I suppose you could argue that she didn’t want to be put into a position of having to lie, but based on the list of restrictions, she, and all her fellow employees, were already doing that.

  9. congaboy says

    “Except…in a fit of the stupids to which adherents of ridiculous religions are prone, the college turned around and offered the job to a man. The man who fathered Teri James child. Who is, presumably by the symmetry of the act, a fornicator himself.” (How do you do that cool block quote thingy that turns the quote gray and surrounds it with the oversized quotation marks?)

    Loop hole alert: You see, the male fornicator wasn’t an employee at the time of his alleged fornication and thus had not signed the pledge. So, technically, the male fornicator was not in violation of any agreement with the school and they can hire him to replace the wicked female fornicator without any blemish on their collective conscience. It’s what Jesus would have done.

  10. julial says

    I’ve always wondered.
    Has anybody asked the religious and had it answered why virgin birth is considered a miracle?
    Most of our commercially available milk comes from virgin cows. No bull.
    At least none on the premises.

  11. eric says

    Is that pledge even legal?

    I followed the links back a couple steps. Can’t remember which article, but one of them did say that it was only a pledge, not part of her legal employment contract. Which would greatly strengthen her case.
    OTOH several commenters on multiple sites have pointed out that the husband wasn’t an employee or a signee at the time he fornicated, so its not legally different treatment to hire him. They didn’t fire her for fornicating before she signed the pledge, only for doing it after she signed. So the argument ‘they offered my job to a known fornicator’ is not legally strong. It paints them as blatant hypocrites, true, but betraying ones’ stated values is not illegal per se.
    OTOOH one of the interviewed lawyers basically said it doesn’t matter. Even if the ‘no fornication’ thing is part of the employment contract, those sorts of clauses have been challenged in court before and they don’t hold up.
    IANAL, but all in all I think (and hope) Ms. James has a pretty good case. However, I’d bet the ‘they offered my job to my lover’ argument is not what wins it for her.

  12. Illuminata, Genie in the Beer Bottle says

    I wish I had a background in discrmination law. How is this not sex discrimination?

  13. John Horstman says

    @15: Functionally, it can be ruled to be sex discrimination. Just because something is illegal doesn’t mean people don’t do it, nor does it mean the law will be properly and evenly applied.

  14. says

    The Bible points out that unmarried women can get pregnant without fornication. The school cannot be certain that Ms. James was not merely “overshadowed” by the Holy Spirit, who apparently gets his kicks doing that occasionally. It’s in the Bible, people!

  15. Synfandel says

    I thought in Catholic culture, you followed whatever impulse entered your head, confessed it to a frustrated, celibate priest, said some hail-Marys, and then everything was copacetic.

  16. glodson says

    Huh. I just stumbled onto this earlier. It went well with a comment I wrote elsewhere concerning the idea of how promiscuity is bad. I made the point that it is only bad if the person sleeping around is a woman. Men often get a free pass.

    Then I saw this story.

    Then I found this video.

    Taken together, it gives a great picture of how Christianity sees women, and it is a practical application of how women have their place in society forced onto them for the benefit of men.

  17. erick says

    Hold on a minute. A women was teaching at a College? Teaching men? Isn’t that a problem in itself?

    I could look up the verse, but I’m preaching to the choir anyway.

  18. cartomancer says

    I don’t remember anything in the bible condemning the erection of vaulted ceilings…

  19. Ichthyic says

    How do you do that cool block quote thingy

    look just below the reply box for common html codes that work here.

  20. stevem says

    re Julial @13:

    Most of our commercially available milk comes from virgin cows. No bull.
    At least none on the premises.

    Seriously? As I understand it (FWIW), a cow must first have a calf before milk will flow. Have they made ‘changes’ to cows recently? I don’t mean to derail, just really puzzled by the possibility. Seriously.
    I mean my wife’s family had a dairy farm and I thought I knew, but things are always changing…

  21. kayden says

    That case sounds like a slam dunk case of sex discrimination. Not just hypocritical but dumb.

  22. phoenicianromans says

    I believe this Christian College should be required to prove that pregnancy is always oproceeded by fornication.

    With references to a certain Jewish teenage mom…

  23. cristopherallen says

    Is this really just “Christian” hypocrisy? Given recent developments, I think it extends further.

    ***In order to avoid tentacle-lashing I provide the following supplication: My quibble is only with the title of the otherwise brilliant post.

  24. stanton says

    Is this really just “Christian” hypocrisy? Given recent developments, I think it extends further.

    It’s a Christian school, and so many Christians, including the school higher-ups, claim they are paragons of love, and tolerance, even when they’ve been caught redhanded disenfranchising people who do not kowtow to their invasively myriad edicts.

  25. yiela says

    Stevem @ 24, All the cows at the dairy where I work are bred via artificial insemination. No bull on the farm. It’s pretty common but some farms still use bulls, mostly to breed cows that didn’t settle by AI.

  26. ck says

    birgerjohansson,

    What more can you expect from someone associated with the American Fool Association. I’m sure that all he knows is that the term, “American Taliban” is going around, so he needs to smear someone with it, not realizing that the term has been applied to him and his group for many years.

  27. Galactic Fork says

    I wonder if the guy actually accepted the job offer? Because if he did, he’s a bit of a jerk. Though it’s a brilliantly evil way to get a job. I can picture him rubbing his hands together all sinister like. “Phase 3 complete.”

  28. says

    See, Australia is much more enlightened when it comes to discrimination of women in the workplace. Over here, religious institutions can outright refuse to hire single mothers (or them gay folks) in the first place. It’s called religious freedom, don’t you know!

  29. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m not saying the aforementioned double standard doesn’t exist elsewhere, but in my über-Catholic household it was the exact opposite: While we both got the age-appropriate lecture about the “sin” of fornication and how we’d be hellbound if we had sex before marriage, I was forbidden from dating as a teenager while my younger sister had several swains during her high school days (some resulting in clandestine fornication, according to her admission in later years). The theory was that I, as a male, could not control my sexual urges and if left to my own devices would knock-up any girl I ended up with. That, and I was considered mentally damaged, so I could not be trusted alone with a bottle of hand lotion* lest I unwittingly put my immortal soul in jeparody of damnation. On the other hand, my honor-roll-achieving , student athlete sister was considered the “good kid” and was thought to be responsible enough to avoid premarital congress.

    Or so my parents thought.

    *Yes, masturbation was verboten as well. I was grounded for a few weeks during my thirteenth summer after my father caught me red handed (pun semi-intended). He asked if I was planning on raping any 10-year-old girls next. Between the bullying I put up with in high school and my family, I’m amazed I didn’t kill myself before I was 18. It’s no wonder my adulthood is so fucked up.

  30. says

    SDCC is ComicCon ^-^; I don’t know who these people are, but it sounds like almost an open and shut case.

  31. says

    As others have pointed out, she should have gone with the divine impregnation defense. It probably wouldn’t have worked, but it would have been hilarious to hear the excuses they would give for why it couldn’t have happened.

  32. ravenred says

    Rorshacht, not if the Gov accepts the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislative Advisory council recommendations. Which, in an election year, they probably won’t.

  33. psanity says

    I keep wondering — what if the pregnancy had been the result of rape? Would they have fired her for being pregnant, or for getting an abortion? Decisions, decisions…

    So hard to manage insufficiently docile employees in a truly Christian manner.

  34. bjornbrembs says

    This is insane on so many levels, even if they hadn’t offered her co-fornicator the job: first they fire her because she’s pregnant, creating an incentive for abortion (had she had an abortion before anyone had noticed, she’d still have her job). Presumably, this school is vehemently pro-life, but not enough to ensure the child has a mom which can provide her children with a livelihood. So this school incentivizes abortion and if the women don’t abort, they take away their income. Way to go on the ‘love thy neighbor’ thing!

  35. lexie says

    Julial – I’m not sure I get your argument? Please elucidate. Yes, some of dairies now (I believe it is more common in North America – but I live in Australia) do not own any bulls, but their cows aren’t miraculously getting pregnant instead they get small tubes of frozen semen shipped to them and then artificially inseminate the cows. I don’t think this is comparable to the biblical account of the virgin birth as they are not claiming that Mary was artificially inseminated with actual literal human male semen, they are claiming that Mary’s pregnancy occurred in the absence of semen.

  36. anuran says

    Dunno about the Blood Drinkers, but Jewish Courts have already ruled that a single woman cannot be fired from a religious school for her IVF pregnancy.

  37. thumper1990 says

    @Lynna OM #2

    Is it okay if you fornicate with God or the Angel Gabriel?

    Thats not fornicating, thats IMMACULATE CONCEPTION and is a sign of our Gods love and benevoleance towards his childre mankind!!!11111eleventy11!!!

    Or, simply a very clever way to get out of being stoned for adultery. Occam’s Razor and all that.

  38. says

    Actually, the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, not Jesus. It’s the idea that Mary was protected from Original Sin, so she could be a pure conduit for Jesus. It’s a common mistake.

  39. says

    The Immaculate Conception misconception was recently included on “Family Guy.” Apparently Seth MacFarlane doesn’t know the difference between Immaculate Conception and Virgin Birth.

  40. DaveL says

    Actually, the Immaculate Conception refers to the conception of Mary, not Jesus. It’s the idea that Mary was protected from Original Sin, so she could be a pure conduit for Jesus.

    Can anyone explain how that’s supposed to square with the doctrine of Substitutional Atonement? I mean, supposedly we’re all worthy of hell and in need of salvation because we’re all tainted by Original Sin. And for some reason a blood sacrifice is supposed to be necessary to save us from that taint. Except God was able to have this one woman conceived without Original Sin without the need for blood sacrifice. So why did we need substitutional atonement again?

  41. David Marjanović says

    Except…in a fit of the stupids to which adherents of ridiculous religions are prone, the college turned around and offered the job to a man. The man who fathered Teri James child.

    The mind boggles.

    I still don’t understand why she admitted to having sex. She should have just denied the accusation and made everyone happy.

    She was pregnant, presumably visibly so.

    I believe this Christian College should be required to prove that pregnancy is always oproceeded by fornication.

    Thread won.

    With references to a certain Jewish teenage mom…

    BTW, her age (13 to be exact) is extrabiblical tradition. It’s nowhere in the Bible.

    So why did we need substitutional atonement again?

    Perhaps Jesus dying on the cross atoned for Mary retroactively, God being outside of time and all? Except theologians never say “perhaps”.

  42. says

    So why did we need substitutional atonement again?

    Because those are the rules. Might makes right + mysterious ways = shut up and believe.

  43. Kengi says

    @47 David Marjanović wrote

    She was pregnant, presumably visibly so.

    I don’t think you understand religion. How does being pregnant prove (to a Christian) that she wasn’t still a virgin?

  44. says

    @46

    So why did we need substitutional atonement again?

    It’ll be explained in the next version of the sourcebook, once the writers figure out how to retcon that bit of doctrine.

    (we’re talking about D&D here, right? If not, it might as well be for all the sense the rules make…)

  45. eric says

    @32:

    I wonder if the guy actually accepted the job offer?

    He didn’t. He and Ms. James got married at some point, so I imagine her feelings about the school mattered more to him than the job offer.

  46. thumper1990 says

    @LykeX

    Huh? I thought Immaculate Conception was Xian-speak for “Concieved by God without doing the naughty”? I was completely unaware of this business with Mary being Immaculately Concieved. Would that not mean she is alo the child of God? Is God incestuous? *Goes cross eyed in confusion*.

  47. says

    @52
    The Immaculate Conception refers only to Mary. I think the idea is that if she had original sin, then she would contaminate the human part of the savior, so god suspends the transmission of original sin from her parents to her, to keep her pure. The thing with Jesus being conceived by the Holy Spirit is a separate concept.

    It doesn’t really matter unless you’re interested in theology or want to make an internal critique of Christianity. The rabbit hole of theology is a deep and scary one. Abandon hope all ye who enter here.

  48. thumper1990 says

    @LykeX

    Huh, well thank you for the education :) it is much appreciated, and very interesting. The transmission of original sin to Jesus is a conundrum which I had not thought of before.

  49. julial says

    OK, now I’m confused.
    stevem @ 24 seems to think that virgin birth involves not being pregnant???
    lexie @ 40 thinks that an absence of semen is somehow involved.

    Apologies in advance for using Wikipedia as a reference, but…
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin definition: “Virginity is the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse.” I’m engaging in exegesis here, but I think they mean PIV intercourse in the relevant case.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virgin_birth_of_Jesus Jesus’ virgin birth is “a doctrine of Christianity and Islam which holds that Mary miraculously conceived Jesus while remaining a virgin.”
    If AI doesn’t do the trick, then I offer cloned embryo transfer. Not only would you have a virgin birth, but the individual would be his or her own parent (parent being the immediate supplier of the genetic data.) Still not a miracle except in the Arthur C. Clarke sense.
    I really don’t think the details matter. I was just trying to make a clever comment about how a simple situation can be blown completely out of proportion by those who need to misunderstand. Given the lack of understanding of how reproduction works by the people of the period, it’s not surprising they jumped on magic as the explanation.
    It’s all pretty funny in a cold and depressing way. The actual source of the superstition appears to be a bad translation of the word ‘almah’ from Hebrew into Greek.